You can’t hide the news from kids, try as you might. And especially someone like me, who works in newspapers, which means the news is all over our house in some form, whether actual newspapers, apps, or open laptops.
But certain things you try to hide. Things like Newtown and now Boston, because there’s only so much a 7-year-old brain can digest. So they ask, we walk on egg shells and tell them what we think they need to know and hope the next cartoon starts soon.
What is on the TV, or in the paper, we can tilt to help them understand. The photos, the faces, they leave indelible marks that stick with you, no matter what the age.
Tell me you will ever forget the photo of Martin Richard holding that poster that says ‘no more hurting people.’ You won’t, I won’t, they won’t. And we shouldn’t. Just like we shouldn’t forget the 20 glowing faces from Newtown.
I see those photos and I wonder. I wonder what they would have done, who they would have become. They won’t grow up to accomplish what they were supposed to, dreams just vanished in an instant. They won’t score the winning touchdown or go to college or get married or have kids.
It makes you hug your kids a little tighter, push cars on the floor or brush Barbie’s hard a touch longer, too.